Monday, January 3, 2011

Loaves & Fishes bearing false witness

On July 29, 2010, I was charged with trespassing at Loaves & Fishes property. Getting the police report, relating to events when I was at Loaves & Fishes on that date, proved to be exceedingly difficult. I received the police report only on October 26, nearly three months after ‘events’ and just ten days prior to the scheduled Trial Readiness Conference [11/5/10] at Superior Court, which was just five days prior to the my trial [11/10/10] on the charges. [But I must note, I didn’t make an effort to get the report until October.]

I tell you all this, not because my fate is on the line; I’m OK, now. But I have to think that other homeless people, without my inclination to write things and keep records would have been totally screwed by the false [i.e., lying] report to the police that Loaves & Fishes provided.

I was told, on October 27, that the DA will drop the trespassing charges, coming from a complaint/ticket Loaves & Fishes filed. The DA formally cleared me on my next scheduled court date, Nov. 5 -- though “cleared me” is an overstatement. The charges were dismissed “due to lack of evidence.”

From my experience, I have to believe that Loaves & Fishes is pretty much in the Screw the Homeless business. They are not a friend, but an enemy. They are in the empire-building and donor-snookering business and do that at the expense of homeless people. [Indeed, a man who is likely the most-senior and experienced person in our city with the homless and providing them aid, considers Loaves & Fishes to be "a racket."] Being poor is, effectively, a conviction of a felony, all on its own. And Loaves & Fishes is wholly out for its empire-building self, and certainly not interested in seeking justice for the homeless.

I write emails [instead of phone] and the complaint against me has to do with blogposts [which, like email, is written, permanent and potent evidence] Other homeless people, met with Loaves & Fishes’ storm of perfidy would get crushed, having nothing to counter it but their truthful testimony -- which, by itself, is certain to be given little or no weight.

So, my situation was never threatened, but only because the asshole witness could be shown to be a completely unethical lying piece of trash. The test now for Loaves & Fishes will be if they properly FIRE the piece of trash OR if they keep him despite his complete incompetence.

Truth and justice in Sacramento are in short supply when it relates to the lives of homeless people, I greatly believe, with my experiences being just a sampling of the meanspiritedness, prejudice and madness.

     The Loaves & Fishes Witness Statement

The Loaves & Fishes Witness Statement - minus the witness’ name which I’ve substituted with X’s - can be found, in full, here. It's a public document.  It’s written by Sacramento police officer G. Chargin, relating the witness’s report of the situation. [Note that quotes herein, then, are from the summarizing report, and are not directly what can have been said.]

The witness says I have “been blogging on the internet making slanderous comments about Loaves & Fishes and the staff.”

My response: I haven’t slandered Loaves & Fishes, though I accept that the witness thinks so. If Loaves & Fishes wishes to pursue a civil suit because of my activities, they certainly can. They have the 2009 Sacramento Attorney of the Year under retainer. Go for it, I say.

The witness complains that I email blogs to “all of the Directors on the Board” at L&F.

My response: Between my two blogs - Sacramento Homeless and Homeless Tom - I have put up 612 posts. I cannot know exactly how many have been sent to the Board of Directors, because I use a service/gadget to relay posts. But my guess is that a dozen, and not more that 20, have been sent to the board in two-and-a-half years. A Board of Directors is supposed to exist for the purpose of oversight. Looking out for missteps of its organization’s administration is Job One. I have gotten only one complaint about the sending of blogposts that I know of; and that related to a request I cease using a particular email address, and use another one belonging to a certain board memeber. But there can have been other, subtle chafing words from the L&F board. I don’t remember, and it’s hard to research, but I doubt it.
The witness complains, in all apparent seriousness, that I accused the staff of having sex with the Jesuit Volunteers.

My response: The humorless witless is unable to perceive the humor & lampoonery in a joke that was intentionally way, way over-the-top [such that everyone with an ounce of sense would KNOW it was a joke] that was taken down. The joke related to the Park being scheduled to close for nine consecutive days while the staff did … what? There were no pictures nor descriptions of sexual positions nor frisky farm animals mentioned. It was a pale, harmless joke with a PG rating. Get a grip, witness.

Allow me to point out, too, that in the reception area in the Ivory Tower [L&F Admin office, as it's called by some employees] there are political cartoons that are vile, all in support of Loaves & Fishes nuttiness, of course.

The witness complains, “He named me and accused me of being a Nazi.”

My response: The witness has to be referring to the post in Sacramento Homeless “Loaves & Fishes’ program of “Collective Punishment”“ Readers can read the post for themselves which is unchanged since when it was written, except for the picture and probably the fixing of typos within days if it first being posted. Please tell me where any Loaves & Fishes’ employees are cast as Nazis.  He's a certifiable idiot, but I did not call him a Nazi, nor is he one … to my knowledge.

The witness says that I “claimed there are dead babies on [L&F’s] property.” The witness has to be referring to the post in Sacramento Homeless “Babies are gonna die! Babies are gonna die!“ Readers can read for themselves that I am clearly lampooning and mocking Loaves & Fishes deplorable scare tactics in snookering donors to get to their money.

The stupid witness also said that I “put [L&F’s] logo on his email which makes it look official and that Loaves and Fishes is responsible for it.”

My response: I certainly never put Loaves & Fishes logo on any of my emails. I have used Loaves & Fishes’ logo in blogposts, but no one could possibly think that it was used in such a way to indicate L&F was reponsible for text I wrote or that posts in my blogs were official Loaves & Fishes positions on anything. I used L&F logo in ‘fair usage’ in the same way that I can use the logo of Coca-Cola in a blogpost about Coca-Cola. [Notice how wikipedia uses Coca-Cola pictorially at their website.] The ignorant witness doesn’t understand “fair use.”

The witness told the copper, “We had banned Thomas Armstrong before.”

My response: There was a botched effort at banning me on April 29, thereabouts, but Loaves & Fishes pulled back from the effort, and I was not banned at that time.

The witness said, “at that time, [Tom] agreed to stop his slanderous blogs about Loaves & Fishes.”

My response: I most certainly didn’t agree to anything. The ‘agreement’ that Libby Fernandez, CEO of Loaves & Fishes, demanded was that I never mention “Loaves & Fishes” in my blogs again. I would never agree to that; this is still America. While I admit to being strident at times, I am putting truths out there about homeless-services nonprofits [of which Loaves & Fishes is the worst] that aren’t otherwise being truthfully reported about.

After Libby Fernandez made her demand, I immediately contacted Sacramento Press and wrote a ten-day report for them about the disgraceful nine-day closure of Friendship Park, from May 1 to May 9.  Here are the ten daily reports, from May 1 to May 10: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10.

The witness said, “Today [7/29/10], when T. Armstrong came onto our property, we called him into our office and informed him he was banned. He became angry and stormed out slamming the door. I walked out into Friendship Park and saw that he had not left the property. He walked back towards me and said he should sock me in the jaw. i told him he was on private property and trespassing. When i advised him we would call the Police and have him removed, he said to call because he was not leaving.”

My response: When I walked into Friendship Park, Jim Peth gave me a Bronx Cheer (which I wasn’t sure, until a minute later, was for me). When I tried to get a shower reservation, I was told by Kevin that I couldn’t have one and would have to talk to Jim or Garren. I was led into a FP office with Jim and Garren there and things were conducted aggressively and sourly. I asked to know who determined I was banned and for what reason, and was told I didn’t have a right to either of those bits of information. I was directed out of the office and do not believe I was the one that shut the door, much less did I slam it.

The elephant in the room that the witness conveniently fails to mention is my belongings in my locker. I was told that I had to immediately remove all my property from the locker and leave with it. My locker, which is one of the big ones, was filled to capacity with stuff in it that weighed easily four times more than what I could carry.

This issue of locker content came up in the botched effort to ban me last April. I wrote the Board of Directors [You can see the complete email here.] asking for information on what their locker-rental policies were, and how they could possibly think they have the right to dump out my locker contents without notice. The country we live in isn’t North Korea, as much as Loaves & Fishes wants to turn it into that. I never did get a response regarding the locker-rental policy at Loaves & Fishes.

At one point [on 7/29] Garren held up three trash bags for me to take my locker contents away in. I know full well [from the 4/29 incident] that what I had in my locker was many times more that what I could carry. In response to the witness's “You can use this to empty your locker,” “I can hit you in the jaw, too.” When the witless turned away slowly [He knew he wasn't threatened and didn't act threatened], I told him I was kidding; I didn’t mean that literally, OF COURSE.  Nobody thinks I'm violent.

When the witness said he was going to call the police, the whole of my response was “please,” which I meant and he understood to mean "Yes!  Get the Police here!" I most certainly did not make a proclamation of not leaving. My point was that putting me in a circumstance of losing my property was something that needed the attention of someone who wasn’t an complete idiot like he is.

     Hypocrisy and Lying

I have been told by preachers at the mission that what God hates most is hypocrisy. There's Scripture that's been read to me to support the idea. And, from the Internet, here's some quotes in that vein.

Loaves & Fishes has collected a couple hundred thou, I think it is, from a lawsuit against the city and county because the police deprived homeless people of their property. Yet Loaves & Fishes' abides by no ordinences to properly care for homeless people's possessions that are on its property.

"Bearing false witness" is something else that is deplored by God, according to mission preachers. Here, from the Internet, are quotes from Scripture about that.

You might suppose that the sanctomonious Pecksniffian Christians that think so adoringly of themselves in the Administration office and on the Board at L&F would find some resistance at acting so very much like the demons that ran the Orphanage where we first found Oliver Twist, but no.  They are all straight out of Dickens and, if the public only knew what all what was going on, would be run out of Sacramento on a rail.

Labels:

1 Comments:

Blogger Nagarjuna said...

You seem to be doing an excellent job of documenting Loaves & Fishes' abuses not only of you but of the homeless in general. I, for one, am outraged over some of their actions toward you and others, and I'm wondering if you have any suggestions about what we in the community at large can do about it.

January 3, 2011 at 4:39 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home